Missing and Unidentified Human Remains (MUHR) Program
The Missing and Unidentified Human Remains (MUHR) Program provides funding to eligible entities to report and identify missing persons and unidentified human remains across the United States. The program aims to enhance the reporting, transportation, forensic testing, and identification of missing persons and unidentified human remains, including migrants. The MUHR Program, administered for the first time in fiscal year 2022 by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, furthers the U.S. Department of Justice’s mission by increasing public safety by providing resources to locate and identify missing persons and unidentified human remains in the United States, and complements the National Institute of Justice National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) Program.
To learn more about the MUHR Program and potential funding opportunities, please visit Missing and Unidentified Human Remains (MUHR) Program.
Passed by Congress in 1999, Jennifer’s Law authorized the Attorney General to issue grants to state and local jurisdictions to increase their capacity to report missing and unidentified persons. Jennifer’s Law is named after Jennifer Marie Wilmer, a 21-year-old woman who went missing in California in 1993 and has not been found. Jennifer’s family, along with Congressional Representatives, enacted Jennifer’s Law to ease the suffering of families dealing with a missing loved one in the hopes that grant funding would allow more information about missing persons and unidentified human remains to be entered into databases. Under Jennifer's Law, MUHR Program grantees are required to report unidentified human remains into databases such as NamUs, the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP).
In the United States, over 600,000 individuals go missing every year, while more than 40,000 bodies recovered in the United States remain unidentified at any given time¹. In addition, an estimated 4,400 unidentified bodies are recovered each year by ME/C offices, and approximately 1,000 of those recovered bodies remain unidentified after one year². Furthermore, there is a backlog of missing and unidentified human remains cases that are waiting to undergo forensic testing and be entered into national databases. Funding from the MUHR Program not only helps jurisdictions to become more self-reliant and self-sufficient in reducing their backlog, but also enables them to become more efficient in identifying and repatriating individuals to their loved ones.
 Between 2007 and 2020, an average of 664,776 missing persons records were entered annually into the National Crime Information Center. See https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/ncic.
 In 2004, the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Census of Medical Examiner and Coroners’ Offices estimated that each year medical examiner and coroner offices handle about 4,400 unidentified bodies, with approximately 1,000 of those bodies remaining unidentified after one year. See https://bjs.ojp.gov/content/pub/pdf/meco04.pdf.
|COUNTY OF DEKALB||GA|
|FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT||FL|
|COUNTY OF MIAMI-DADE||FL|
|COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE||CA|
|TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY||TX|
|UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER AT FORT WORTH||TX|